Rev. Dr. Veronice Miles
The Rev. Dr. Veronice Miles is a preacher, teacher, scholar, mentor, and artist committed to a life of ministry in the church and in the academy. She is the daughter of the late Mrs. Ollie L. Miles Johnson and Rev. William Arthur Miles. After her father’s death in 1965, her mother married Mr. Orlando Johnson who became a devoted stepfather to the Miles children. Veronice’s family and church community nurtured her in the Christian faith, emphasizing the centrality of the gospel message and God’s faithfulness to creating a just and life-affirming existence for all people as foundational tenets of the faith. These commitments continue to inform her life and ministry.
Deeply influenced by the example of her mother, a creative and dynamic religious educator, and her father, a highly esteemed pastor and preacher, Veronice sensed the call to ministry early in her life, though it seemed only a distant echo at first. Over time, the call intensified, and she answered the call to ordained ministry in 1994. She was licensed to preach at the First Missionary Baptist Church in Gainesville, Florida that same year and became the first woman licensed without contestation in an African American Missionary Baptist church in her city. She was ordained at the Greater Bethany Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia in 1999 where she also served as Minister of Christian Education for five years and as interim pastor in 2003.
A product of the church and academy, Dr. Miles has taught preaching for more than 16 years and has preached extensively. She currently serves as the Mary Elizabeth McGehee Joyce Associate Professor of Preaching at the Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC. Prior to her time at Wesley, she taught preaching and religious education at the Wake Forest University School of Divinty.
Her publication, Embodied Hope: A Homiletical Theology Reflection (CASCADE Books), explores the human capacity to live with Hope and the power and potential of preaching to amplify Hope’s resonance in our lives. More generally, her research highlights the formative and transformative potential of preaching, including the role of preaching in redressing persistently threatening challenges that pervade U.S. culture, among them racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and hedonistic consumption. She has contributed to various academic and church related journals, commentaries, and books.
As a life longer learner, Dr. Miles has earned several degrees, including the Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Education and Homiletics from Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion in Atlanta, GA and a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University with certificates in Religious Education and Black Church Studies. She also earned the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Master of Education in Counseling, and Education Specialist in Student Personnel Services, all from the University of Florida.
Dr. Miles has been involved in various facets of church and community ministry for more than 50 years. Grounded in the belief that God still anoints women and men “to bring good news to the poor… to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19), Dr. Miles endeavors to embody these practices in her life and ministry.